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By | Paul Kunert 4th March 2014 13:01

Brit schools' supplier Tribune Business Systems RUBBED OUT

Cash-raising plan to save London biz failed, '49 staff laid off'

Education tech supplier Tribune Business Systems (TBS) has gone into administration due to crippling cash flow issues with FRP Advisory handling the affairs.

CEO Sheldon Stoutt was understood to have been looking for additional investment but this did not materialise, and the company called in the receivers in the middle of last week.

One source told us that all 49 staff were laid off and are still owed payroll which was due at the end of last month.

"It appears there was an offer due to come through to buy the company that would have involved staff getting paid, but that was cancelled," said our company insider.

The London-based firm provided IT support to schools – both primary and secondary – and also dealt with higher and further education and academies.

It had a seat on Lot 1 of the Education Funding Agency framework, and is accredited to sell Fujitsu, VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and Interoute.

TBS also launched four flavours of managed services for primary schools which at base level included remote support, prioritised call-out and hardware and software support.

The company also sells into the wider public and commercial sectors.

Office phones in the City, Milton Keynes and Bolton branches were not answered last week, and the managed service help desk was ringing unanswered today.

It is too early to confirm the impact on customers' services contracts, or the level of debts that the company leaves but sources told us that some vendors, distributors and a reseller were significant creditors.

There is talk that the firm's director of managed service Graeme Bower had been talking to FRP regarding a pre-pack sale of the business, which may not endear suppliers to any phoenix firm should he succeed.

In last filed abbreviated accounts for the year to 31 March 2012, TBS had net assets of ££820k.

Stoutt, Bower and FRP had not responded to calls for comment at the time of writing. ®

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